MSA Hard Hats Recalled

September 10, 2018
MSA has issued Safety Advisory based on field reports indicating that some green colored MSA V-Gard Protective Caps are cracking. The cracking occurs at the top of the cap, as shown in in the photo, and is not caused by an impact to the cap. MSA has confirmed that the cause of the cracking is limited to green colored, medium size MSA V-Gard Protective Caps and that corrections have been made to prevent recurrence.
MSA has advised that all V-Gard Protective Cap customers to obtain replacements for any green colored, medium size MSA V-Gard Protective Caps that meet any of the following:
  • Manufactured in April 2017 or May 2017 and sold outside the US and Canada with “ENSAMBLADO EN MEXICO” molded under the brim
  • Manufactured in April 2017 or May 2017 and sold in the US or Canada with a logo or stripes
  • Manufactured in September 2017 or October 2017 and sold both inside and outside the US and Canada with a label that says “PRODUCT OF U.S.”
Remove from service, render unusable and dispose of green colored MSA V-Gard Protective Caps that meet any of the above criteria.
MSA V-Gard Protective Caps must be inspected prior to and after each use in accordance with MSA’s Type I Protective Helmet Instructions and labels. Immediately remove from service any hard hats with cracks or other damage.
When a crack occurs in a cap, the dielectric, impact and penetration protection of the cap may be affected.
Note that MSA’s Type I Protective Helmet Instructions, which are shipped with each V-Gard Protective Cap, require that an inspection be performed before and after each use and that damaged shells be replaced. The label on the V-Gard Protective Caps also requires replacement of any part showing wear or damage before using.
Although cracking of green colored MSA V-Gard Protective Caps would be identified during an inspection, MSA is proactively addressing the situation before potential cracking occurs.
How to Identify Affected MSA V-Gard Protective Caps:
  1. Confirm that the cap is green in color and a cap style with a brim only in the front.
  2. Review the label on the back inside of your cap to confirm that it is a V-Gard.
  3. Confirm that the cap is a medium size. The size is molded underneath the front brim.
  4. Confirm that the hard hat was manufactured in April 2017, May 2017, September 2017 or October 2017. The manufacturing date is molded into the helmet underneath the front brim.
    1. For caps manufactured in April 2017 or May 2017 and sold in the US or Canada only, confirm that the cap was ordered with a logo or stripes.
    2. For caps manufactured in April 2017 or May 2017 and sold outside the US, confirm that the cap has “ENSAMBLADO EN MEXICO” molded underneath the front brim.
    3. For caps manufactured in September 2017 or October 2017, confirm that the label on the cap states “PRODUCT OF U.S.”
If you are in possession of affected green colored MSA V-Gard Protective Caps, MSA will provide you with replacements free of charge.  To receive your replacements, complete a MSA V-Gard Protective Cap Replacement Form and e-mail it to Customer Service as indicated on the form. If the affected caps were originally purchased with a customized logo, please provide the original logo order number and MSA will apply the logo to the replacement caps. Replacement caps will be shipped to you.
For questions regarding these protective caps, contact MSA Customer Service at:
  • U.S., Canada, or U.S. Territories – 1-866-672-0005 or by email at:
  • Outside the U.S., Canada, and U.S. Territories – 724-776-8626 or by email at:
Hazardous Waste Training
Annual hazardous waste training is required for anyone who generates, accumulates, stores, transports, or treats hazardous waste. Learn how to manage your hazardous waste in accordance with the latest state and federal regulations.  Learn how to complete EPA’s new electronic hazardous waste manifest, and the more than 60 changes in EPA’s new Hazardous Waste Generator Improvements Rule.  Environmental Resource Center’s Hazardous Waste Training is available at nationwide locations, and via live webcasts.  If you plan to also attend DOT hazardous materials training, call 800-537-2372 to find out how can get your course materials on a new Amazon Fire HD10 tablet at no extra charge.
FMCSA Wants Comment on Revising Current Hours-of-Service Regulations for Interstate Truck Drivers
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is seeking public comment on revising four specific areas of current hours-of-service (HOS) regulations, which limit the operating hours of commercial truck drivers.
The upcoming Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), which will be published in the Federal Register, responds to widespread Congressional, industry, and citizen concerns and seeks feedback from the public to determine if HOS revisions may alleviate unnecessary burdens placed on drivers while maintaining safety on our nation’s highways and roads.  The comment period will be open for 30 days.
The four areas under consideration for revision are:
  • Expanding the current 100 air-mile “short-haul” exemption from 12 hours on-duty to 14 hours on-duty, in order to be consistent with the rules for long-haul truck drivers;
  • Extending the current 14-hour on-duty limitation by up to two hours when a truck driver encounters adverse driving conditions;
  • Revising the current mandatory 30-minute break for truck drivers after 8-hours of continuous driving; and
  • Reinstating the option for splitting up the required 10-hour off-duty rest break for drivers operating trucks that are equipped with a sleeper-berth compartment.
In addition, the ANPRM seeks public comment and relevant data on two recently submitted petitions requesting regulatory relief from HOS rules 1) pertaining to the 14-hour on-duty limitation (filed by the Owner-Operators Independent Drivers Association) and 2) pertaining to the 10-hour off-duty requirement (filed by TruckerNation).
Earlier this year, the congressionally mandated electronic logging device (ELD) rule, which required most FMCSA-regulated motor carriers to convert their records from paper to an electronic format, became effective. While compliance with the ELD rule has reached nearly 99% across the trucking industry, it has also brought focus to HOS regulations, especially with regard to certain regulations having a significant impact on agriculture and other sectors of trucking.
Additional information on the ANPRM, including how to submit comments to the Federal Register docket, is available here. Further information is available here. Information on current HOS regulations is available here.
Information on electronic logging devices (ELDs) carried on-board long-haul trucks and used by commercial vehicle enforcement officers to check compliance with HOS regulations is available here.
Florida Roofing Company Faces Penalties for Exposing Employees to Fall and Other Safety Hazards
OSHA has cited Coastal Roofing Inc. for exposing employees to fall and other hazards at a St. Johns, Florida, worksite. The Jacksonville-based roofing company faces $105,283 in proposed penalties.
OSHA investigated the company as part of the Agency's Regional Emphasis Program on Falls in Construction. Coastal Roofing was cited for failing to ensure employees utilized a fall protection system. OSHA also cited the contractor for failing to ensure employees utilized eye protection and not extending a portable ladder 3 feet above the roof landing. OSHA cited the company for similar safety violations in January 2018.
"The use of fall protection is not an option - it is a legal requirement that saves lives," said OSHA Jacksonville Acting Area Office Director Michelle Gonzalez. "This company's continued failure to comply with fall protection standards puts the lives of its employees at risk for serious or fatal injury." 
Thorpe Plant Services and Steel Dust Recycling Fined After Employee Hospitalized for Fall
OSHA has cited Thorpe Specialty Services Corp. - operating as Thorpe Plant Services Inc. - and Steel Dust Recycling LLC for fall and confined space hazards after an employee was hospitalized following a 30-foot fall at Steel Dust's Millport, Alabama, facility. Thorpe Plant Services faces $175,528 in proposed penalties; Steel Dust's penalties total $28,270.
OSHA cited Thorpe the maximum allowable penalty for exposing employees to fall hazards. The Agency also cited the company for failing to conduct atmospheric monitoring before allowing employees to enter a confined space; failing to develop a permit prior to employees entering a confined space; and to ensure emergency services were provided when employees entered a permit-required confined space. OSHA cited Steel Dust for exposing employees to fall hazards, failing to implement their permit space entry program, and not advising Thorpe that the required work involved a permit space entry.
"Both companies' failure to comply with fall prevention requirements led to a serious injury that could have been prevented," said OSHA Birmingham Area Office Director Ramona Morris.
Scientists Develop New Method to Screen for Chemical Exposures
Each year, tens of thousands of chemicals are manufactured in or imported into the United States – more than 30,000 pounds of industrial chemicals for every American – yet experts know very little about which chemicals may enter people’s bodies, or how these substances affect human health.
Now, scientists at UC San Francisco have found a way to screen people’s blood for hundreds of chemicals at once, a method that will improve our ability to better assess chemical exposures in pregnant women, and to identify those exposures that may pose a health risk.
The scientists used a technique known as high-resolution mass spectrometry, which identifies chemicals by their molecular weight, to screen blood samples taken from pregnant women in San Francisco. This enabled them to scan a much larger number of chemicals at once than previous methods, which typically target about a dozen chemicals at a time. They scanned about 700 chemicals in the current study, finding, on average, 56 different suspect chemicals in the women’s blood.
“As we suspected, more chemicals are present in pregnant women than previously identified, some of which may be hazardous to the developing fetus and to adults,” said Tracey Woodruff, PhD, the senior author of the study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives. Woodruff is a professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences and the director of the Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment at UCSF “This also helps us prioritize chemicals for further study and prevention.
UCSF’s work contributes to the broader scientific initiative to measure the “exposome,” or the totality of human environmental exposures from conception, so researchers and policy makers can determine which chemicals or combinations of chemicals are contributing to health problems. “Screening for chemicals in a person is like finding needles in a haystack – there are thousands of chemicals in blood that come from different sources, so we need an efficient method to find those that matter,” said Aolin Wang, PhD, a postdoctoral scholar in the PRHE in the UCSF Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences, and the study’s first author.
The new method screens for environmental organic acids (EOAs), compounds that have at least one ionizable proton and can be measured with the method, which detects the relative abundance of ions in a sample. 
EOAs are widely used in pesticides and consumer products, and some, such as bisphenol-A, methylparaben, and triclosan, have chemical structures that are similar to hormones. They can cause endocrine disruption, which makes them particularly dangerous to pregnant women and their developing fetuses, since the chemicals may interfere with development.
People are exposed to these and other similar chemicals by using products, eating contaminated food, drinking contaminated water, or breathing contaminated air and dust.  The researchers first compiled a chemical database of 696 EOAs from a variety of publicly available sources, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the California EPA, as well as private databases and data from the scientific literature.
They then analyzed maternal blood collected from pregnant women at two different hospitals: the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, which serves mostly low-income women of color who do not have health insurance; and UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay, which serves an economically and ethnically diverse population, including women of higher socioeconomic status.
“Our findings indicate numerous chemical exposures across the populations of pregnant women studied,” said Rachel Morello-Frosh, PhD, a professor of environmental science, policy and management at UC Berkeley and an author of the study. “Additionally, low-income women and women of color often face a disproportionate burden of social and environmental stressors that are linked to poor health outcomes.”
After the initial screening of the women’s blood, which revealed between 32 and 73 suspect chemicals per woman, the researchers used a more refined method to confirm the presence of a subset of these chemicals. They found six chemicals that had not been previously documented in pregnant women's blood, two of which – 2,4-Dinitrophenol and pyrocatechol – may cause genetic defects, harm fertility or damage the fetus, or have carcinogenic effects. 
Another chemical found in the study, 2,4-Di-tert-butylphenol, is a widely detected estrogenic compound. It is used in food-related plastic products, as well as plastic pipes and water bottles. In Europe, it has been found to migrate from water bottles and electric kettles made from chemical substitutes for bisphenol-A, an estrogen mimic that is being phased out.
“Our success with the current suspect screening approach indicates that this method can provide new insights regarding human exposures to potentially dangerous chemicals,” said Woodruff. “Our results raise concerns about pregnant women’s chemical exposures and can be used to inform evidence-based approaches to protect human health.”
Other authors of the study include Roy Gerona, PhD, Jackie M. Schwartz, MPH, Thomas Lin, and Marina Sirota, PhD, all of UCSF. The Toxic Matters brochure series from PRHE provides information on how to reduce chemical exposures.
States Sue Trump Administration for Abandoning Longstanding Protections For Migratory Birds
Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood, leading a coalition of 8 Attorneys General, announced a lawsuit against the Trump Department of Interior (DOI) for drastically narrowing the scope of protections provided to migratory birds under the 100-year-old federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). New York’s over 300 migratory bird species have substantial ecological, scientific, and economic value to the State; for example, birdwatchers and other wildlife watchers contributed over $4.2 billion to New York State’s economy in 2011.
For the past 100 years, the MBTA has been a cornerstone of efforts to conserve waterfowl, egrets, songbirds, birds of prey, and other cherished and economically-important bird species. Yet a legal opinion issued by the Trump DOI late last year now prohibits the Department and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) from exercising their long-standing and consistently-applied authority to enforce the MBTA against industrial or other human activities – such as spilling oil and failing to cover chemical waste lagoons – that kill or foreseeably kill migratory birds, but are not specifically intended to do so.
“In yet another giveaway to special interests at the expense of our states, the Trump administration has gutted the Migratory Bird Treaty Act – eliminating longstanding prohibitions on injuring or killing over 300 species of migratory birds that provide critical ecological, scientific, and economic value to New York,” said Attorney General Underwood. “Our coalition will fight to reverse this reckless and illegal action – just as we have successfully beaten back so many of the Trump administration’s destructive policies.” 
In the lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, the coalition argues that the DOI opinion contradicts the plain meaning, structure, and intent of the MBTA, and its broad prohibition on the “taking” (injury or death) of migratory birds “by any means or in any manner.” The suit calls the opinion “arbitrary and capricious and contrary to the law,” and asks the court vacate it.
Congress enacted the MBTA in 1918 to implement a treaty between the United States and Great Britain (acting on behalf of Canada) and, since that time, the Act has been key to conserving and protecting the nation’s migratory birds. The federal scope of the MBTA is essential to safeguarding migratory birds, as it reflects that fact that once birds migrate outside a state, that state does not have the ability to protect them through its laws and regulations.
The MBTA makes it unlawful to “take” or “kill” any migratory bird “at any time, by any means or in any manner,” unless permitted by regulation. The DOI and FWS, the agencies responsible for implementing and enforcing the MBTA, have for decades recognized that the prohibitions in the Act on taking migratory birds encompasses all activities that both immediately kill or will reasonably foreseeably result in the death of the birds – whether or not the actor specifically intended to kill birds in undertaking the act.
In January 2017, the DOI issued a legal opinion reaffirming FWS’s longstanding interpretation that the MBTA applies to industrial and other human activities that will foreseeably – but not intentionally – kill migratory birds. The opinion re-confirmed that “the MBTA’s broad prohibition on taking and killing migratory birds by any means and in any manner includes incidental taking and killing,” and that “the government need not show that a defendant willfully or intentionally took or killed birds to prove a violation of the MBTA.” However, less than a year later, the Trump DOI issued a legal opinion withdrawing and replacing the previous 0pinion, and reversing the two agencies’ longstanding interpretation of the MBTA. The new opinion reinterprets the MBTA – with no intervening change in the law – as prohibiting only activities that “have as their purpose the taking or killing of migratory birds,” such as poaching.
The longstanding recognition by the DOI and FWS that the MBTA prohibits “incidental take” – takings that result from, but are not the purpose of, carrying out an otherwise lawful activity – has provided critical protections for the millions of birds whose migration expose them to injury or death incidental to industrial and other human activities. The threat of enforcement of the MBTA has provided a strong incentive to those engaged in activities that may result in incidental take of migratory birds to undertake reasonable, low-cost measures to avoid, minimize, and mitigate such take. The federal Department of Justice, acting on behalf of the two agencies, has previously reinforced these incentives, and deterred potential violations of the MBTA, by prosecuting those who engaged in activities resulting in the incidental killing of large numbers of migratory birds, including oil spills and failure to cover chemical waste lagoons known to attract birds.
Over 300 species of migratory birds protected under the MBTA regularly nest, winter in, or migrate through New York; the overwhelming majority of these birds migrate outside New York at some point during their lives. The state has a long and established interest in the study and conservation of birds. It is home to the National Audubon Society, the Cornell Ornithology Lab (one of the world’s preeminent academic centers for the study of birds), the American Museum of Natural History, and world-renowned birding destinations like Central Park and Jamaica Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
Migratory birds, which include virtually all species indigenous to New York other than certain upland “game” birds (such as grouse or turkey), provide substantial benefits to states by, among other things, controlling insect and rodent populations, pollinating plants, spreading seeds, and providing recreational opportunities. For example, birdwatching is a multi-billion-dollar industry, with birdwatchers and other wildlife watchers spending approximately $4.2 billion in New York in 2011. Fees charged by New York and other states for the legal hunting of migratory waterfowl generate millions of dollars for conservation programs, and also generate related economic activity.
The coalition filing the lawsuit is led by Attorney General Underwood and includes the Attorneys General of California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Oregon.
This matter is being handled for Attorney General Underwood by Senior Counsel for Enforcement Andrew J. Gershon, Deputy Bureau Chief Monica Wagner, and Special Counsel Matthew Eisenson of the Environmental Protection Bureau. The Bureau is led by Bureau Chief Lemuel M. Srolovic and is part of the Division of Social Justice, which is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General for Social Justice Matthew Colangelo. 
International Paper Fined for Hydraulic Oil Release
The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality has fined International Paper $20,800 for violations related to a hydraulic oil release that caused a sheen along the McKenzie River in March 2018. The sheen was observable as far as 7.5 miles downstream and persisted for at least two days. 
The release occurred March 12, 2018 and likely reached the river on March 13, 2018. International Paper was informed of a sheen on the river around 2 p.m. on March 13, but failed to report the release to the Oregon Emergency Response System until 7:26 p.m. The delay in reporting caused a delay in the response and cleanup. DEQ assessed a $6,400 penalty for this violation and a $14,400 penalty for the spill. 
Earlier in the day on March 13, an angler on the McKenzie River near Harvest Lane boat landing, about 2.5 miles downstream of the outfall, noticed the oil sheen and notified the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. The ODFW employee notified the company of the sheen near its outfall. The same day, the Lane County’s Sheriff’s Office investigated the sheen and reported in to the Oregon Emergency Response System at 5:50 p.m. DEQ learned of the release shortly afterward. 
About 1,000 gallons of hydraulic oil was released when a hydraulic line at the facility broke. Wastewater lagoons on the site captured some of the oil. The remainder flowed into a catch basin that eventually discharges into the McKenzie River two miles downstream. At least 95 gallons of oil entered the McKenzie River. 
International Paper hired a contractor, Clean Harbors, to deploy booms clean up oil residue from the pipe and its wastewater treatment system.
The release took place in an area designated as critical habitat for the Willamette Spring Chinook salmon and the Willamette bull trout. The area is also a popular spot for fishing and recreation. 
While cleanup efforts were underway, access was restricted to the McKenzie River around the release site until March 22. There were no documented impacts to fish or other wildlife. Drinking water was not affected. 
When oil reaches waterways it can harm aquatic life and ecosystems and adversely affect beneficial uses of the waterways such as recreation. DEQ requires immediate reporting to ensure a prompt and effective response. 
The company has until Sept. 19 to appeal the fine.
Florida Roofing Company Faces Penalties for Exposing Employees to Fall and Other Safety Hazards
OSHA has cited Coastal Roofing Inc. for exposing employees to fall and other hazards at a St. Johns, Florida, worksite. The Jacksonville-based roofing company faces $105,283 in proposed penalties.
OSHA investigated the company as part of the Agency's Regional Emphasis Program on Falls in Construction. Coastal Roofing was cited for failing to ensure employees utilized a fall protection system. OSHA also cited the contractor for failing to ensure employees utilized eye protection and not extending a portable ladder 3 feet above the roof landing. OSHA cited the company for similar safety violations in January 2018.
"The use of fall protection is not an option – it is a legal requirement that saves lives," said OSHA Jacksonville Acting Area Office Director Michelle Gonzalez. "This company’s continued failure to comply with fall protection standards puts the lives of its employees at risk for serious or fatal injury."
CONN-OSHA Roundtable to Explore Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals
The Connecticut Department of Labor’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (CONN-OSHA) is offering a September 18 Breakfast Roundtable discussion group about “Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories.” The roundtable will be held 8:15 to 9:45 a.m. at the agency’s Wethersfield office, 200 Folly Brook Boulevard.
“Guest speakers Teresa D’Amelio, a certified school risk manager, and Dr. Ken Roy, director of environmental health and chemical safety for the Glastonbury public school system, will focus on the standard for school and workplace laboratories where chemical manipulation generally involves small amounts of limited chemicals,” explains John Able, CONN-OSHA Occupational Safety Training Specialist and roundtable project coordinator. “This standard applies to all hazardous chemicals that meet the definition of ‘laboratory use’ and have the potential for worker exposure. The information will include an overview of OSHA lab standards and operating procedures and a discussion of employer and employee responsibilities.”
Admission to the breakfast is free, but pre-registration is required. Please contact Able at to register or for additional information.
Washington to Revise Beryllium Exposure Regulations
The purpose of this rulemaking was to add Chapter 296-850 WAC Beryllium as a new chapter to Title 296 WAC of the Department of Labor and Industries. This new rule is in response to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) final rule on Beryllium in General Industry CFR 1910.1024, Construction CFR 1926.1124 and Maritime CFR 1915.1024. The department will have one Beryllium rule to include all industries listed, instead of separate rules for each industry as OSHA has done. This rule will limit worker exposure to beryllium and beryllium compounds (as Be), which can cause the debilitating lung disease known as chronic beryllium disease (CBD) and lung cancer. This rule mirrors OSHAs final rule, with minor differences in the Definitions, Medical Removal, and Medical Surveillance sections that allow for implementation of the rule to be consistent with existing requirements in Title 51 RCW. The PEL tables in WAC 296-307-62625 and WAC 296-841-20025 were updated to reflect OSHAs reduced Beryllium PELs.
All obligations of this standard commence and become enforceable on December 12, 2018, except for the following compliance dates: Change rooms and showers required by WAC 296-850-145 must be provided by March 11, 2019; and Engineering controls required by WAC 296-850-130 Methods of Compliance must be implemented by March 10, 2020. The changes were adopted 8/21/2018 and will be effective on 12/12/2018.
From Surviving to Thriving: Equity in Disaster Planning and Recovery
The Center for Progressive Reform (CPR) began rolling out a new report called From Surviving to Thriving: Equity in Disaster Planning and Recovery. The report gathers ideas for reforms, policy proposals, and other recommendations from CPR’s Member Scholars and staff. It presents a path forward for policymakers at all levels of government as they work to anticipate and prepare for disasters. The report covers a variety of topics, including worker safety, the importance of protective standards and safeguards, enforcement, and inequality.
Common Pesticide Inhibits Brain Development in Frogs
New research published in Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry reveals that low doses of a commonly used pesticide potentially harm the Northern Leopard frog by inhibiting their brain development.
The pesticide chlorpyifos, which has been used since 1965 in both agricultural and non-agricultural areas, had clear effects on Northern Leopard tadpoles' neurodevelopment, even in situations where the pesticide did not cause a decline in the amphibians' food source.
"Organophosphorous pesticides contaminate surface waters throughout the U.S. exposing both animals and humans to these chemicals, often at very low, presumably innocuous levels. However, this study demonstrates that exposure to these contaminants, even at these low concentrations, impacts vertebrate neurodevelopment," said lead author Sara McClelland, of Duquesne University, in Pittsburgh.
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